Mark Landis has been called one of the most prolific art forgers in United States history. His impressive body of work spans thirty years, covering a wide range of painting styles and periods that includes 15th Century Icons, Picasso, and even Walt Disney. And while the copies could fetch impressive sums on the open market, Landis isn’t in it for money. Posing as a philanthropic donor, a grieving executor of a family member’s will, and most recently as a Jesuit priest, Landis has given away hundreds of works over the years to a staggering list of institutions across the United States. But after duping Matthew Leininger, a tenacious registrar who ultimately discovers the decades-long ruse and sets out to expose his philanthropic escapades to the art world, Landis must confront his own legacy and a chorus of museum professionals clamoring for him to stop. Art and Craft starts out as a cat-and-mouse art caper, rooted in questions of authorship and authenticity — but what emerges is an intimate story of obsession and the universal need for community, appreciation, and purpose.
About the Series
An arms-smuggling international super-criminal posing as a florist; a champion cyclist as clandestine Nazi resister; a master art forger who anonymously donates his handiwork to world-class museums; a magician who reveals his tricks (or does he?) — trust no one, good or bad, to be what they seem in our documentary series Deception!
Stay for a Q+A with the filmmaker after each screening.